Now a research team at Uppsala University and its University Hospital has shown that mechanical forces are considerably more important than was previously thought. The findings, published today in the journal Nature Medicine, open up a new field for developing treatments.
New generation of blood vessels takes place in normal physiological processes, such as when a wound heals, children grow, or the mucous membrane of the womb is built up to be able to receive a fertilized egg. It is also a crucial mechanism in tumor diseases, rheumatism, and certain eye disorders, for example.
How new generation and in-growth of blood vessels takes place has not been fully understood. It has been assumed that the mechanisms are the same as those that occur in embryonic development, which is probably a great over-simplification. The formation of the vascular system in the fetus takes place in a well-organized and reproducible way, which means that we all have blood vessel systems that look very much the same. On the other hand, new generation of vessels in wound healing and tumor growth, for example, occurs in a chaotic environment where it is difficult to see that there would be well-defined gradients of growth factors, and it has not been possible to find evidence of any.
"Unlike these previous models, our findings show that in wound healing, in-growth of new blood vessels takes place via mechanical forces that pull already existing blood vessels into the wound when it heals," says Pär Gerwins, who directed the study and is a physician and interventional radiologist at Uppsala University Hospital as well as a researcher with the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology at Uppsala University.
It has long been known that specialized connecting tissue cells, so-called myofibroblasts, wander in and pull the wound together. In the study being published it is shown that this wound contraction governs the in-growth of new blood vessels. Since it is a matter, at least initially, of the expansion of already existent blood vessels that have continuous blood circulation, there is a rapid in-growth of fully functional vessels, which is what we see when a wound heals.
The study not only explains a fundamental biological mechanism but also provides clues for new therapeutic goals in treating various diseases. Since myofibroblasts exist in relatively large numbers in tumors and rheumatic joints, one potential strategy to try to block the contractive capacity of these connective tissue cells. The new model can also partially explain why treatment of tumor diseases with blood-vessel inhibiting substances has not been as successful as was hoped.
Finally, the model can partially explain the mechanism behind the positive effect of "vacuum-assisted wound closure," (VAC). This is a method of treatment for hard-to-heal wounds where an air-tight bandage is applied and then the pressure is reduced in the wound with the aid of suction, which creates a continuous mechanical pull in the underlying tissue.
Blood-vessel-rich wound-healing tissue is thereby generated much more rapidly, which substantially hastens healing. It is hoped that it will now be possible to understand why some wounds do not heal and also to develop new types of wound treatment.
For more information, please contact: Pär Gerwins, phone: +46 (0)18-471 43 66; cell phone: +46 (0)73-984 82 07, e-mail: Par.Gerwins@imbim.uu.se
Read the article on the Nature Medicine home page.
Anneli Waara | idw
Unique genome architectures after fertilisation in single-cell embryos
30.03.2017 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH
Transport of molecular motors into cilia
28.03.2017 | Aarhus University
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine
30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine
30.03.2017 | Medical Engineering